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Apr 2, 2020

San Pedro Belize Express Donates Over $30,000 in Supplies to Caye Caulker & San Pedro

A number of companies and organizations are stepping up and joining in efforts to assist persons who are being impacted in some way by COVID-19.  Today, San Pedro Belize Express made a donation to benefit the residents of San Pedro and Caye Caulker.  San Pedro was closed down by a state of emergency when the virus was detected on two persons.  There are no known cases in Caye Caulker, but the residents moved quickly to isolate themselves. Here is Duane Moody with a report.


Duane Moody, Reporting 

Over thirty thousand dollars worth of supplies – flour, sugar, rice, oil and noodles – were handed over to Caye Caulker and San Pedro today courtesy of San Pedro Belize Express. The water taxi has been serving the country for decades, providing services to Belizeans and tourists for travel to and from the two top tourist destinations in Belize. The process started as early as eleven this morning when the supplies were loaded on to the Three Star Horizon vessel.


Shameka Pennill

Shameka Pennill, Office Administrator, San Pedro Belize Express

“We have co-workers here. We have affiliates. The entire island of Caye Caulker and San Pedro have supported us tremendously over the years, and we feel that this is just a part of giving back to them, to let them know that they are in our thoughts and prayers, and that we’re with them throughout this entire thing.”


Having received the requisite permits, the vessel and all its cargo set sail east. The first stop was Caye Caulker, where Chairlady Seleny Villanueva-Pott received the items, which she says will be issued to the most vulnerable. For over two weeks now, there has been inactivity on the island because most tourists left as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.  Even those employed within the tourism industry have returned to their homes on the mainland and the island is a ghost town.


Seleny Villanueva-Pott

Seleny Villanueva-Pott, Chairlady, Caye Caulker Village 

“Everybody knows that Caye Caulker is fuelled by tourism. The unfortunately threat of COVID-19 is real; it’s here. And most of our hotels have shutdown. Most of the workers are off the island, but the few people who are on the island will need to eat. This is where this donation will come in. We will definitely distribute to people who need it the most. We already have a list, but we will revisit the list now because we had some donations from the Chinese Community, but with this additional donation from San Pedro Belize Express, we can now expand the list, which we are very, very grateful for. There are several people who will appreciate any help. And so, we’re very grateful to San Pedro Belize Express for this.”


There were various emotions linked to the next stop, San Pedro, because it is where patient zero is located. At present, there are two laboratory confirmed cases of COVID-19 on La Isla Bonita. But safety precautions were taken; even as we disembarked from the city, the crew as well as the media were issued hand sanitizers and masks as the mission at hand – delivering basic supplies to a community cut off from the rest of the country – was to be completed. Minister Manuel Heredia Junior received the donation, saying that by next week, distribution to residents is to take place.


Manuel Heredia Jr.

Manuel Heredia Jr., Area Representative, Belize Rural South

“At this time of crisis, I believe that whoever and whatever they give us, it well appreciated. When you have people, particularly San Pedro Belize Express, who have been doing great with both Caye Caulker and San Pedro, and when they open up their hearts to say, look, we have been making money over here. It is time to give back; I really believe that all business people are supposed to be like that. In good times you make. In bad times, you give also. So, we really appreciate this good gesture from San Pedro Belize Express. It will be well taken care of, it will be bagged and hopefully by the middle of next week, we will be distributing to each home in San Pedro, regardless of politics. This is not time for politics, this is time for unity, this is time to share love and to show appreciation. There are other people that have donated a couple bags of beans, rice, and cook oil, and it is adding up.”


Duane Moody for News Five.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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